Dairy farmers urged to enroll in new program
VERMONT- Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Peter Welch are urging dairy farmers to enroll in the new Dairy Margin Coverage program, a safety net measure created in the 2018 Farm Bill to help producers manage volatile milk prices and feed costs. The enrollment period runs through September 20.
The voluntary program is designed specifically to benefit smaller-scale producers. It provides payments to producers when the difference between milk prices and feed costs drop below coverage levels selected by producers.
The program continues to build on the significant improvements to the Margin Protection Program..
The USDA Farm Service Agency has created a DMC decision support tool to assist producers in choosing their levels of coverage. Farmers also have the option to receive a 25% discount on their premiums if they choose to lock in coverage levels for five years.
In addition to making the program more affordable, the 2018 Farm Bill also provides an option for dairy farmers to receive a 75% credit or 50% refund of the net premiums they paid into the Margin Protection Program from 2015 to 2017, when the program did not provide adequate support to farmers.